EUREKA, Mo. – The city of Eureka is no stranger to flooding. The two most recent floods caused millions of dollars in damage but there’s a project in the final stages of approval that will help.
Located along the Meramec River, Eureka has endured seven major floods over the last 40 years. The recent floods of 2015 and 2017 had the highest river crests on record and caused over $10 million in damages.
“One of them actually caused major problems at our sewer plant because we had some major electronics that were ruined. Highway 109 shuts down, so we actually have to stage emergency responders in different areas because we have residents and citizens that are sometimes cut off,” said Eureka Mayor Sean Flower. “There’s been millions of dollars of damage at the high school. Fields flooded out. Structures flooded.”
Eureka’s flood prevention program has been working on a solution for over three years and it’s in the final stages, pending approval from the US Army Corps of Engineers. The plan is to build two flood walls placed about a half-mile and 1.5 miles from the Meramec River.
“It protects our sewer plant, which floods, it protects Highway 109,” Flower said. “The historic old town where we’ve got buildings that are 100 years old down there, so we’re really trying protect key infrastructure, protect historic structures.”
Protecting the areas of the city most affect by flooding but still allowing flooding to occur in areas where it doesn’t cause any damage.
“We’ve also produced data and studies to show that it also doesn’t cause damage to anyone else because of the way it’s structured. So, we’re not trying to push water somewhere else. We’re just trying to make sure to protect the areas we need to protect,” Flower said.
Flower said they’ve already done preliminary work so as soon as they get these final permits the work on these flood walls could start within 30 to 45 days.
“I’m excited about it. We’ve been working on this. We had a whole group in the city that spent a ton of time on it. We’re very, very close to being able to move forward,” said Flower.